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Online Course Design Institute

Register for our Latest Online Course Design Institute!

This structured professional development opportunity for Vanderbilt faculty, grad students, and other instructors will explore effective practices in online education and help instructors plan their upcoming online courses.

For those who weren’t able to take the intensive version of the OCDI in the summer, there is still time to join this fully online, five week course. Synchronous meetings will take place two times per week via Zoom, all other content will be asynchronous on Brightspace.

We thank the more than 400 faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs who participated in the institute this summer, as well as the 26 BOLD Faculty Fellows who helped facilitate the institute. Subscribe to the CFT newsletter to receive information on upcoming offerings of the Online Course Design Institute!

During the institute participants will:

  • Develop a course plan for their upcoming online course, one that integrates learning objectives with assessments, assignments, and activities;
  • Build one or more sample modules for their courses, practicing the skills they will use to build other modules;
  • Plan strategies for helping their online students thrive, including strategies for promoting meaningful interaction, social presence, and equitable learning; and
  • Learn about the affordances of online teaching tools, identify tools that align with their goals, and develop practical skills using those tools.

The Online Course Design Institute will consist of a mix of asynchronous and synchronous activities, with time built in for individual course planning and digital tool practice. The total time commitment is expected to be 8 hours per week during the institute.

Participants will work through a series of asynchronous Brightspace modules leading through a course design process. They will also meet once or twice each week via Zoom with a small cohort for peer feedback on course plans.

This cohort will be facilitated by staff at the Center for Teaching. For more detailed information about the OCDI, including module screenshots, view the OCDI Overview PDF document.

Dates: October 12th – November 11th


Comments from Past Participants

“Commit to spending the two weeks immersed in this. It is HUGELY beneficial. I learned tons about teaching online and tons about how to improve my teaching in any mode of delivery. I feel energized about teaching in a way that I have not felt in years.”

“The cohort meetings were great. I genuinely enjoyed meeting each day to go over ideas and ask questions, and honestly just build a rapport with classmates. It made me feel better about what I was doing and how I approach teaching in general.”

“My advice: approach the entire institute as an eager student! There’s so much to learn, and inhabiting the perspective of a student in an online course will reveal a lot about how you want to set up your own courses.”

“The OCDI made the process of converting an in person class to an online one more manageable and less overwhelming.”

“I can’t imagine going online and doing it well without this course!”

“You are not just learning about online teaching.  You need to learn how to teach in a whole new way.  Once you make the leap, you’ll feel more engaged in your teaching, your students will connect with you better, and you’ll help make Vanderbilt more competitive in this new playing field.”

“The OCDI will not only prepare you to teach online, but also improve your teaching overall… Make time to engage with the OCDI deeply not only to improve your own teaching, but also to contribute to a community of engaged teachers across the university.”